Casey Blake expected to begin season on the disabled list

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Casey Blake went for an MRI exam on his injured back last week and the Dodgers said they expected him to miss minimal time, but today manager Don Mattingly indicated to Tony Jackson of ESPNLA.com that the veteran third baseman is likely to begin the season on the disabled list.

Blake didn’t get many at-bats before the injury and only has 10 days left to see some game action now, although he hasn’t been cleared to return to the lineup yet anyway.

Juan Uribe is slated to start at second base after signing a three-year, $21 million deal this offseason, but he’ll likely slide over to third base until Blake returns and utility man Jamey Carroll will take his place at second base.

Will Middlebrooks carted off field with left ankle injury

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Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.

Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.

The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.